Posted on December 01, 2015

Today the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) and the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) hosted an engaging pre-conference seminar on Islamic capital markets. In attendance were global Islamic finance leaders who converged at the Gulf Hotel in Manama from far and wide - including from the US, UK, Nigeria, Indonesia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Russia and China.

The IIFM is a globally renowned standard-setting organization for the Islamic financial services industry focusing on standardization of Islamic financial contracts and product templates relating to the Capital & Money Market, Corporate Finance and Trade Finance segments of the industry. It promotes market unification by developing best practices and achieving Shari’ah harmonization to create a more robust, transparent and efficient Islamic finance industry. Key areas discussed included the impact of adopting more comprehensive standardization documentation to promote the growth of Islamic finance, challenges facing future development of Sukuk markets, and developments to broaden availability of Islamic hedging alternatives. 

For the very first time, the WIBC pre-conference day includes an afternoon feature during which Thomson Reuters, WIBC’s Knowledge Partner, will facilitate a dynamic roundtable on growth opportunities in key emerging Islamic finance markets with a focus on strategic regions—Central Asia, North Africa and the Americas. The discussions will be led by seasoned practitioners with first-hand experience and knowledge about how to spur growth in these unique markets. Kazakhstan, Canada and Sudan were specifically chosen as being the most likely to emerge as growth markets for the global Islamic finance industry.

Speaking ahead of the roundtable, Janet Ecker, President & CEO of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance, explained why her organization was participating at WIBC on behalf of Canada: “Emerging from the global financial crisis, financial stability has been a watchword for a successful financial hub. And Canada's banking system has consistently been ranked as the safest in the world, providing our financial sector with a sound foundation for growing opportunities in Islamic finance and helping to build Canada as a hub for Islamic Finance within North America.” She concluded by emphasizing that the “World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) is a great platform to help build awareness of Canada's value proposition."

The afternoon roundtable will also explore Kazakhstan as the next frontier for Central Asia. H.E. Nurlan Kussainov, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, will speak on his country’s Islamic finance potential. Speaking ahead of the roundtable, His Excellency shared: “Recently Islamic finance has started to play a major role in the global financial system. In this context, the role of Kazakhstan among the most attractive platforms for amplifying Islamic finance is of great significance.”

The first official day of WIBC will take place on the 2nd December, and will continue on 3rd December. The 22-year platform will play host to leaders and organisations from over 45 countries.

To find out more about WIBC, visit